The Alajmo brothers have teamed up with David
Lanher, the Paris-based restaurateur (Racines, Racines 2, Racines NYC, Vivant,
Noglu), to open an Italian-style coffeehouse or “caffè” in the former home of
Stern, the historic French engraver and printing company.
Architect Dominique Averland carefully carried out the renovation and
conversion of Stern, while Philippe Starck designed the magical interiors of
the historic French landmark.
“The coming together of Stern and the Alajmo brothers is magic,” explains
Starck. “Like the engraver Stern, the Alajmos cultivate excellence and originality.
To honor this union, we barely transformed the historical landmark: we just
improved the existing magic. The resulting environment is fantastic, probably
the nicest and most enjoyable bacaro in the world. A visit to Caffè Stern by
Alajmo is a journey through time, history, culture, and an invitation to
create and strive for excellence. Our contribution is magic, poetry, surrealism
and, of course, food.”
Located in the heart of Paris at 47 Passage des Panoramas inside one of
the city’s famed arcades, Caffè Stern offers a wide variety of authentic Italian
coffee preparations made with coffee selected by Gianni Frasi, roaster and
owner of Laboratorio Torrefazione Giamaica Caffè in Verona. Freshly ground
beans are used to prepare everything from a classic espresso to “Lì per lì,” a
mini-cappuccino originally from Trieste, or “Senza fretta,” coffee prepared in a
Neapolitan coffee maker.
Open from 8:30 am to midnight, Caffè Stern serves guests continuously
throughout the day, beginning with a gourmet breakfast of croissants and extravirgin
olive oil brioches, followed by a mid-day aperitivo of cichetti (Venetian-style
tapas) like whipped salt cod with fried polenta, saffron and ragu arancini,
or pappa al pomodoro.The lunch and dinner menu includes Alajmo classics like hand-chopped
Piedmontese beef with smoked olive oil, spaghetti alla carbonara made with
extra-virgin olive oil, fried langoustines with bottarga sauce, and Max’s signature
steamed pjzza; all served in a series of connecting rooms that date to the 16th
“Caffè Stern is an informal place intended to make people feel at home, and the
menu – simple, yet meditated – is a reflection of this,” Max says. Alajmo hired
Sergio Preziosa as executive chef of Caffè Stern after he spent four years with
Max in the kitchen at Le Calandre.